Look: Now swim with sharks at Abu Dhabi's National Aquarium

The Middle East’s largest aquarium is home to more than 46,000 creatures and 300 different species spread across 10 zones.


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sat 15 Jan 2022, 12:25 PM

Last updated: Sun 16 Jan 2022, 1:15 AM

Adrenaline junkies can now enjoy a breath-taking diving experience at the National Aquarium in Abu Dhabi’s Al Qana. The Middle East’s largest aquarium is offering enthusiasts an opportunity to get up-close and personal with gentle sharks and rays inside its main tank.

“We are absolutely delighted to be offering our visitors such an extraordinary dive experience with our vibrant selection of sharks and rays,” said the National Aquarium general manager Paul Hamilton.

This experience with the region’s largest collection of sharks and rays in a single tank can be enjoyed by certified and non-certified divers, and anyone eager for an adventure. Visitors without prior diving experience or certification can delve into the depths of the main tank, which includes the infamous hammerhead sharks, zebra sharks, eagle rays and a variety of other shark and ray species.

Certified scuba divers get to swim with 2.5m-long sand tiger sharks and lemon sharks, as well as one of the world’s only school of hammerhead sharks.

The enriching experience includes educational sessions on the various species encountered.

“The reality is that sharks are grossly misunderstood, and many of them are currently endangered due to overfishing. Through our immersive experiences, the National Aquarium hopes to dispel this fear and celebrate these magnificent and fascinating creatures,” Hamilton added.

Prior to the dive adventure, an instructor will conduct a brief theory lesson to ensure that basic safety guidelines for shallow water diving are followed. And all the divers will be accompanied by a guide. New divers will get an opportunity to learn the underwater sign language. All divers can take part in live feeding demonstrations too.


The National Aquarium is home to more than 46,000 creatures and 300 different species spread across 10 zones. These animals are cared for by a team of 80 sea-life experts and specialists.

The dive experience is offered from Wednesday to Sunday. The ‘Shark Dive’ (certified divers only) costs Dh790 (1 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm, 7 pm) and the ‘Discover Scuba Diving’ (non-certified divers) is for Dh1,210 (3 pm, 5 pm, 7pm). Bookings can be made at https://thenationalaquarium.ae

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